The gauntlet has been thrown down or, in this case, the cast iron skillet. It all began with my weekly email to our farm families where I include various info about our veggies, recipes and supper ideas. I shared our previous night’s supper of beans and greens with cornbread. I shared the very easy and basic recipe for cornbread that my husband makes:
First, you need a cast iron pan (really it is better) to cook your cornbread, and preheat your oven to 400. 1 cup cornmeal mix, 2 Tablespoons of Butter melted, 1/2 cup sugar, and enough milk to get it moving around when you mix it.. bake approx 20 minutes.
Well…Sandra B., one of our farm families called me out. ” Just gotta tell you. Southern girls never put sugar in cornbread. ” While in all reality Sandra is correct because neither my husband nor I grew up eating cornbread made with sugar or with a cornmeal mix, I did let her know that this southern girl will gladly eat whatever her southern husband is willing to cook. In this case, a quick and easy cornbread recipe that was a comfort food to him in grad school at UNC.
Here is a real southern cornbread recipe compliments of Sandra B., who does know her southern cooking.
Sandra B’s Cornbread recipe:
Southern cornbread, as opposed to sugary corn muffins, is mostly about technique. This recipe is great for making cornbread dressing, btw.
Put about 6 Tbls of Crisco in an iron skillet and preheat it in a 400 degree oven. Or, 5 of Crisco and 1 of bacon fat, if you are not vegan, as we are. Some people like to fry about an inch of salt pork in the skillet, instead of the bacon.
Note: Iron skillets also can be the individual stick style, which our mothers liked, but are very time consuming.
Meanwhile, mix in a bowl,
1.5 cups yellow cornmeal
.5 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking soda.
1 teaspoon salt
Make a hole in the center and stir together,
1.25 cups buttermilk
1 egg I now use a vegan egg substitute.
Then, gradually bring in the dry ingredients. I use a large fork. Like mine a little runny and sometimes add more buttermilk.
When the fat is sizzling and the skillet is very hot, pour it into the mixture and fold it in.
Immediately, pour the batter back into the hot skillet. This will give you that brown crusty top you are looking for when you flip it out onto the serving plate.
Bake about 20 minutes, until edges are brown. Run a knife around the edges to loosen and let it rest for a few minutes before flipping out. If your pan is seasoned well, it should not stick.
Never wash your iron skillet to keep it properly seasoned. I clean mine out with salt and a paper towel with some oil on it.
So get out your well seasoned skillets, eat some cornbread, and by all means let us know your favorite cornbread recipe.
Cheers to Cornbread from me and Sandra B.,